Haas announces winners, finalists in two competitions
Sea Power & Associates wins Social Venture contest

By Ute Frey, Haas School of Business

25 April 2001 | Sea Power & Associates, which converts ocean wave energy into electricity, emerged as the recent winner of the second annual Haas Social Venture Competition at the Haas School of Business.

To compete successfully, each participating team had to demonstrate sustainable profit potential, have a quantifiable social or environmental bottom line incorporated into its mission, and show a demonstrably greater social return on investment than existing firms in the industry.

Sea Power & Associates, which won the $10,000 grand prize, aims to provide renewable energy for the emerging economies of the island communities in the Pacific as well as of Hawaii, offering a cost-competitive, non-polluting alternative to diesel generation.

“Electricity generated from ocean wave energy will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming,” said Mirko Previsic, CEO of Sea Power & Associates, whose patented system consists of a buoy driven by the up-and-down motion of the waves that converts the ocean wave energy into electricity. “For each yard of coastline in Northern California we could power 20 American homes.”

Also announced was the $2,000 prize winner for the best management team — Aprotea Biochips, which has developed technology to provide a rapid and easy-to-use protein-measurement system to enhance drug discovery. The team includes seasoned scientists as well as business and law experts.

Prisma Microfinance Inc. garnered a $2,000 prize for best Social Return on Investment analysis. The venture provides micro loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world.

Finalists for business plan
Six teams will move to the final round of the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition. They will compete for more than $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a $50,000 first prize.

By bringing ventures led by UC Berkeley students and alumni in touch with Silicon Valley’s community of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and technology companies, the competition serves as a springboard for the campus’s most innovative ideas and technologies.

The following six teams were selected to advance to the final round:

Aprotea has developed a patent-pending biochip for parallel analysis of 100 to 10,000 protein samples. The chip provides a rapid and easy-to-use protein measurement system to enhance drug discovery.

RAPT Industries developed Reactive Atom Plasma processing, a proprietary technology for etching and polishing optical and semiconductor materials that is 10 to 10,000 times faster than existing technologies.

Windoscope will sell Web-enabled image visualization and diagnostic software to HMOs and large integrated health systems.

TruVideo intends to take advantage of the convergence of wireless technology and the Internet to become the leading video platform for the Web-enabled wireless device market.

Solocom Inc. offers Internet-based communications software service that can save customers time and resources in researching and procuring next-generation voice, video and data services by matching them with optimal service providers.

iMedia Solutions will develop and implement process management and collaborative solutions that let companies make better marketing decisions by focusing on creating efficiency in their media, product design and management of information processes.


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